It was 1952. Bob Adrian was 4 when his mother opened a flower shop in the family’s north Everett home. Sixty-five years later, Flowers by Adrian will close its doors this week for the last time.
The floral and gift shop at 2101 Colby Ave., which on Friday will host a “beers not tears” goodbye, is just a half-block south of the home where the business began.
“I grew up in the flower shop,” said Bob Adrian, 68, who runs Flowers by Adrian with his wife, Paula. They have sold their building on the corner of Colby and 21st Street, a former dairy and bakery built in 1910, and plan to retire. “It’s sad and it’s good,” he said.
The Adrians said the new owners will operate Vintage Costumers, a costume rental business now in Shoreline, in the shop space, and will occupy apartments upstairs.
“It’s been our job and our pleasure to help people through all their celebrations,” said Paula Adrian, 64, whose seasonal window displays have cheered passersby through the years.
The Korean War was on and Dwight Eisenhower was elected president the year Lorraine Adrian started the shop in the family home at 2017 Colby. Bob, whose younger brother, Ed, was 2 when their mom went into business, remembers their living room being curtained off to create a floral display space.
“My mother was a very ambitious lady. She was a go-getter,” Bob Adrian said. Lorraine Adrian died in 2007. Bob’s late father, Edward Adrian, was a mail carrier who also worked in the floral business. He died in 2014.
While still at Everett High, Bob delivered flowers after school. He earned a landscape degree at Edmonds Community College and went into the family business after loading trucks for several years.
At Flowers by Adrian, he became the floral designer. Paula Adrian specialized in the sales side of the business.
Bob Adrian said he worked six days a week for 42 years. “I can’t remember taking a Saturday off. I’ve worked a lot of Sundays, Valentine’s Days, Christmases and Mother’s Day,” he said. “We’ve done hundreds and hundreds of weddings, and thousands of funerals. We go to the hospital with flowers every day. We did a lot of wristlets for proms.”
He recalled TV news reporters and cameras showing up as the shop filled floral orders for the 1983 funeral of U.S. Sen. Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson, Everett’s best known native son. One of those orders, he said, came from President Ronald Reagan.
They have seen changes in floral trends, and in the business.
Internet ordering cut drastically into walk-in business. In the work area at the back of the shop are old candelabra and wedding baskets.
“We used to use them every weekend. But no one gets married in a church anymore,” Bob Adrian said.
As for blooms, many of which are grown in Canada and Ecuador, arrangements aren’t as formal as in the past. “We now like a loose kind of garden look,” he said.
Another longtime business closed earlier this summer not far from the flower shop. Wicked Cellars, a wine store, ended its 20-year run at 2616 Colby Ave. on July 15.
On Monday, longtime Flowers by Adrian customers Jeannie Sears and Sherry Ord looked over going-out-of-business merchandise. Holiday decor and gift items still filled the display area.
“They put a lot of love into their work,” Sears said. “I came to cry,” added Ord, who offered an example of the shop’s personal service.
“A couple of years ago I lost my parents. One of my childhood friends who lives in Chicago called Adrian flowers to order an arrangement for me,” said Ord, who lives in north Everett. “When my friend gave her my name, Paula immediately said ‘Oh Sherry, sure. We know her address and what she likes.’ ”
“I know where everyone in town lives,” Bob Adrian said.
Julie Muhlstein: 425-339-3460; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shop says goodbye
Flowers by Adrian, a north Everett floral shop for 65 years, is going out of business. Friday will be its last day. Bob and Paula Adrian will host a “beers not tears” goodbye 2-5 p.m. Friday at the shop, 2101 Colby Ave.